Businesses Must Improve Internet Access to Remain Competitive

South Yorkshire’s digital economy will only increase if businesses protect their connectivity to the superfast broadband network, according to a leading IT specialist.

A recent study by Google has shown that the internet is worth £100bn a year to the UK economy. This accounts for 7.2per cent of the UK’s gross domestic product which makes the sector larger than the construction, transport and utilities industries.

South Yorkshire is at the forefront of the digital expansion after becoming one of the first areas in the country to start installing Super-fast Broadband, which will provide a high-speed, open-access infrastructure to the majority of homes and businesses.

Barnsley-based Arcus Technology says South Yorkshire’s growing hub of creative and digital enterprises will massively benefit from the new network. However, the company has advised that businesses should consider upgrading their access to get higher speeds and guaranteed service.

Dale Heath, director of Arcus Technology, said: “Organisations are starting to become increasingly reliant on their internet connection to meet customer needs such as when offering fast, reliable online retailing, and also to improve efficiencies through better supply chain integration.

“The study from Google is an indication of how the industry has grown to become an important part of the local economy. It is therefore vital to have an adequate and protected infrastructure with an appropriate service level.

“Digital Region South Yorkshire will dramatically increase the number of locations in this area that can gain access to the superfast network. Business will be able to take advantage of highly performant and robust connectivity, to make use of services such as video on demand and internet telephony.

“But without any service level guarantees, companies can suffer a significant impact if the service is degraded or not available. Internet connectivity is crucial as the speed can directly impact on revenues and on customer experience. Slow connection could result in lost sales and a poor customer experience.

“Therefore businesses must protect network connectivity as they would with any valuable resource.”

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